Allons-y

Somebody walked across Paris, beneath Paris:

“We hike for miles, twisting and ducking, climbing and crawling, jack-knifing our bodies in ways most people never do. We go through passageways as tight as sphincters, into chambers as big as ballrooms. The tunnels are marked with Paris’s signature blue ceramic signs, the names corresponding to the streets above. The walls are slick with condensation and give off steam. It is like being inside the intricately folded tissues of a brain. It is a place of palimpsests—layers of graffiti tags from the spraycans of young cataphiles, black streaks from the torches of 17th- century quarry diggers, millennia-old fossils of sea creatures embedded in limestone. We peer up manhole shafts so high it is too dark to see the top. We see relics of the wooden braces later quarry inspectors used to shore up the tunnels. At one point, tromping through the darkness, I shine my light upwards to find a giant, black crack in the ceiling. In the 18th century, there were collapses: buildings and horse-drawn carriages and people walking in the street swallowed by the earth. Stonecutters perished in the cave-ins. But the tunnels today are secure and we do not fear entombment. The catacombs are the least treacherous leg of our journey.”

Hardcore.  Awesome.

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